|US Marines to be in action in sea landings off Goa Coast
NEW DELHI, OCT 26 (PTI)
Indian and the US forces have kicked off a big joint land and sea exercises off the Goa coast, after a lull of almost a year and half, attempting for the first time to land joint expeditonary forces from the sea.
"US marines and specialised Indian army troops would be attempting to land sea-borne expeditionary forces during the exercises code named Malabar-9 off the Konkan coast," according to a Naval spokesman here.
The exercises have already commenced from October 24 and would for the first time see US Marines in action on the Indian soil as they go through complex battle manouvres in the Army's prestigious commando school in Belgaum.
After introducing the Indian Navy to their huge nuclear powered carriers, US Navy has brought its newest Nuclear powered submarine USS Providence for the exercises. The other elements of the US forces will be its huge copter-cum-landing ship USS Boxer, Destroyers Benfold and Howard, the US CoastGuard cutter Midget, Canandian frigate Ottawa and sea spyplane P-3C Orions.
The Indian navy is fielding the pride of its indigenous warships INS Mysore, guided missile frigates Beas and Ganga, Tanker Shakti, Large landing ship INS Gharial sub-surface killer submarine INS Shankul, Coast Guard ship Samar and reconnaisance aircraft and Sea Harrier fighters.
Though personnel of Indian Army, Navy and IAF have over the years been training for such landings, this would be for the first time that they would be attempting such manoeuvres with a foreign army.
"For this operation involving sea-borne landings, some of our army troops have already been trained on board the Landing ship INS Gharial and now these forces would be exercising with US Marines," the Naval spokesman said.
He said the exercises would also see the two navies engaging in advanced anti-submarine operations, maritime interdictions, weapons firings, search and seizure operations, cross deck flying and dissimlar air combat.
The sea borne exercises would be followed by joint commando exercises on the land codenamed Operation Shatrujit in which US marines and personnel from 1 Punjab would carry out joint anti-terrorist exercises.
India and the United States forces have been holding regular joint exercises involving land, sea and air elements, but there had been a pause for almost a year and half.